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Thread: IT Band pain

  1. #1
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    IT Band pain

    I am having some trouble with my IT bands and I was looking for some ideas/advice to try. I have been to the LBS to get a fitting done when I got a new bike and had everything measured and adjusted (including cleats).

    The pain is mainly on the side of my knees (both knees) and does not hurt while I am biking, it only hurts when I am off of the bike and mainly only when I am sitting still. If I stretch the pain goes away for a few hours which I would assume tells me that they are too tight. Right now I am stretching 4-5 times a day and it keeps the pain away for the most part, but I am looking for a more long term fix. I also use a tennis ball and a roller stick/bar on them.

    I have not made any adjustments to the bike since my fitting, and I am open to any ideas or thoughts.

    If you want my bike and equipment let me know and I will list them out.

  2. #2
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    I had an issue when I changed my cleats, did not get them right when made a change, you might want to double check, cleat placement, I had a slight twist my IT bands did not like.


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  3. #3
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    You don't say how new you are to cycling, how often (or at what intensity) you ride, but overuse is a very common cause of IT band/ knee injuries.

    I suggest reading the link below. See what part or parts may relate to your style of riding, but a weak link in your fit could also be a cause. Hard to diagnose over the internet.

    CYCLING PERFORMANCE TIPS -

  4. #4
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    Several years ago I was having chronic issues with the outside of my left knee. I went through several fittings of various types (with suitable long acclimation periods in between) and nothing helped. In fact no matter what cleat position I tried, if I rode more than 30 minutes it caused pretty chronic pain later.

    What ended up correcting the problem was speedplay (Zero) cleats with float set as high as comfortable without the heel hitting the crank arm. Now my heel can float and move around as it wants too (presumably subconsciously, as I don't give it a thought any more). It's been a couple of years (early 2014) and several thousand miles and zero knee pain since switching to speedplays.

    I recently built a gravel bike and wanted to use MTB shoes, and put XTR trail pedals on it. At first, I was ok, but my long'ish, hard'ish ride (60 miles up to Snoqualmie tunnel and back) and my left knee was a mess again. I'm currently researching cleates suitable for gravel that have similar float to the Zeros. It's my only hope for doing any significant gravel riding. Right now, I'm leaning towards Speedplay Pave, but not thrilled about using a road shoe on my gravel bike.

  5. #5
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    I find I sometimes have pain in the IT band while riding. I change my pedal stroke concentrating on keeping my heels down and within 5 min the pain goes away. Seems I like to subcontiously ride with my toes pointy down, my IT band does not like this.
    Probably not much help for you, but might be something to at least consider.
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  6. #6
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    I had issues with my IT band when I ran more often. Foam rolling was a huge help along with reading this -> https://b-reddy.org/2012/03/04/the-b...-stretch-ever/.

  7. #7
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    The second stretch on that page ("worlds best IT band stretch") works for me. But you have to have good form and tighten your abs hard. It helps to have someone who knows how (like a physical therapist) show you how to do it. It's easy to get wrong from an internet video.

    But get it right and it works well. One way I know I'm doing it right is I can feel the IT band stretching, and it hurts. It feels good when I stop.

    Besides position and pedalling form, stretching helps.

  8. #8
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    No coincidence that these posts pop up this time of year. It's overuse most likely in your case. Build up mileage very slowly and do lot's of clamshell exercises with a resistance band. I've read several places that IT foam rolling does nothing as the ligament is to strong to "roll out".

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    The second stretch on that page ("worlds best IT band stretch") works for me. But you have to have good form and tighten your abs hard. It helps to have someone who knows how (like a physical therapist) show you how to do it. It's easy to get wrong from an internet video.

    But get it right and it works well. One way I know I'm doing it right is I can feel the IT band stretching, and it hurts. It feels good when I stop.

    Besides position and pedalling form, stretching helps.
    I'm glad it's helping you, but the Iliotibial Band doesn't stretch. As nonvintage says below, foam rolling doesn't generally help either. Keep in mind, IT band syndrome that hurts at rest is very unusual... Outside of knee that hurts brutally going down grade or down stairs, that's a key diagnostic factor.

    OP, I'm' a new rider, so grain of salt the size of Chicago... Fit is everything. Literally, everything, that's one thing I have learned very clearly. Find out what's not right and fix it. Lower your saddle 3cm and see if that has an effect. But this is in your fit... If it is truly IT band syndrome, and I have it, I feel for you... I'd be a trail runner if I could. You can get it cut? It works. Or you can change sports...
    Last edited by PBL450; 05-13-2016 at 04:58 PM.
    If I knew then what I know now, I woulda done it anyway.

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